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Dale Miller
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It's unclear to me if the student has defended at this point or not. If not, and if he hasn't had any other visiting positions, then I'm not sure that this year would count as a year away from philosophy just because he wasn't a GTA. If he has finished, and so isn't really a grad. student any more, then I wonder if it would be possible for his former school to give him a visiting research position or something similar, with no support, just to fill the gap on his CV. If not, then it's hard to give advice without knowing more.
Like Ben I think that the best way to understand wrongness is in terms of the appropriateness of the "punitive" moral reactive attitudes, e.g., compunction, guilt, blame. I think what Strawson suggests about the case of the five-year old child is that the action may be "sort of" wrong, inasmuch as these attitudes would be appropriate to some degree, but not the same degree as they would be toward an adult: "Thus parents and others concerned with the care and upbringing of young children cannot have to their charges either kind of attitude in a pure or unqualified form. They are dealing with creatures who are potentially and increasingly capable both of holding, and being objects of, the full range of human and moral attitudes, but are not yet truly capable of either. The treatment of such creatures must therefore represent a kind of compromise, constantly shifting in one direction, between objectivity of attitude and developed human attitudes. Rehearsals insensibly modulate towards true performances." The psychopath is a tricky one for me. Like Mill, as I read him, I'm inclined that think that it's really the "self-reactive" attitudes of guilt and compunction that have the closest conceptual connection to wrongness. If the psychopath really is incapable of these attitudes, then maybe her actions cannot be morally evaluated.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2016 on Wrong Acts at PEA Soup
Of course, even someone who denies that prostitution is different will be opposed to sex trafficking, at least so long as this is defined (as I assume that it typically is) to include a lack of consent. Survivors of sex trafficking are absolutely entitled to feel violated.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2015 on Sex Work is Different at PEA Soup
A hit on the very same day that the paper is submitted almost certainly comes from someone at the journal itself, presumably someone whom is allowed to know the author's identity, rather than a reviewer. Later hits may well be from reviewers, but that doesn't mean that the reviewers Googled before submitting their reports.
A colleague once told me that he was glad that a particular book was given a later copyright date precisely because fields move and the later date would delay the point at which the book began to appear obsolete. I'd prefer accuracy myself, but there's an argument for the other view.
It looks like may have a new feature that allows someone to start a discussion and invite specific participants. I'm not sure I have this right... I was invited to and joined some sort of group on there today, but I can't get the blasted page to load correctly and so I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into. Something like that may be the best model for creating a "safe space" online in which anyone could feel secure in trying out new ideas, though. It's one thing to say to graduate students that the seminar room is a safe space; it's another to say that a blog that can be read by anyone in the philosophical world is. But I don't mean to argue against David's post; there's no reason not to encourage people who are so inclined to use the blog in the way that he suggests. And Josh's proposal would help matters for those who are more reticent.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2014 on A (Half-Assed) Plea for Half-Assedness at PEA Soup
I think that it's more realistic to expect some people to share half-assed ideas here than others. Here, you have to assume that your posts are going to be read by lots of people whom you don't know personally. If you're a full professor in a Ph.D. program and you post a clunker of an idea on here then you can probably feel pretty confident that people whom you don't know won't conclude that that's the best you can do. They've probably read your published work, and even if not then they'll still give you the benefit of the doubt based on your position. If you're in a less prominent position, though, then you're probably going to be more reticent about posting ideas that you haven't thought through somewhat carefully. The probability that someone's going to decide that that's who you are as a philosopher is much higher.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2014 on A (Half-Assed) Plea for Half-Assedness at PEA Soup
Thanks, Brad. I don't think that approach would work for my current application, but I'll keep in the drawer for another occasion. (Although 'intervention' always makes me picture paratroopers.)
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2014 on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
Thanks Clement, that is helpful. And Andrew, I take your point, and my usual experience is much the same as yours. However, I think there's a general danger about putting things that way in a grant application, inasmuch as the funders might well wonder what you needed the grant for if you have already worked the arguments out. And there's a a particular problem for me in this case, which is that at this point I'm not entirely sure yet what my arguments will be. I have what I might call an inkling; I suspect it may turn out to be quite important whether the "reluctant florist" is operating as a corporation. I hope that turns out to be true, because it will let me say what I hope are some useful things about Mill's failure to understand corporations properly. But perhaps on further investigation this line of thought will turn out to be a non-starter. So at this point I can say more about my questions than my arguments.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2014 on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2014 on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
I'm applying for an intramural grant to work on a perfectly ordinary, non X-phi, piece of philosophy. (I want to think about the claim that someone like a florist might make that being required to provide services to a same-sex... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at PEA Soup
Jerry Gaus, at Arizona, has a political theory Ph.D. from Pitt. BL COMMENT: I didn't know that, that's surprising, since Jerry Gaus is a very good philosopher indeed.
Just because one sees searches for the titles of papers which one has submitted to journals doesn't mean that one's work isn't getting a blind review. Reviewers may be Googling after their reviews have already been submitted. I've done this, when I was confident that I wouldn't be reviewing a revised version of the paper.
I started to post a link to my CV, but then I saw you specified "unjustly" neglected. :-) So how about John Skorupski, "The Ethical Character of Liberal Law"?
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2014 on Overlooked Papers at PEA Soup
Thanks for the steer, Kristina; that was very interesting.
Doug and David, For what their worth, I think that Mill might have a couple of responses to Doug's point. First, he may well think that the better educated would tend to be more disinterested. At the very least, he seems to assume that the people who have the genuinely finest minds are also the least selfish. He wouldn't have thought that more years of schooling, even (especially!) at Oxbridge, necessarily produced genuinely fine minds, but he seems to think that those who have such minds would be included among those who got plural votes. He doesn't seem to argue for this convergence of the "moral" and "intellectual" elites at all; perhaps he was just generalizing from Harriet! Second, I think he would also believe that there is more harmony than conflict between people's interests, and so in a polity in which most people pursue their self-interest, it's better from the standpoint of advancing the public good to give more power to those with a better understanding of where their interests really lie. I'm curious what others think of David's worry about the relation between education and political astuteness. Is that concern widely shared?
Aaron: Thanks, that is all interesting and plausible. You might be interested in how Mill addresses your first concern, about the "strains of commitment": To have no voice in what are partly his own concerns, is a thing which nobody willingly submits to; but when what is partly his concern is also partly another's, and he feels the other to understand the subject better than himself, that the other's opinion should be counted for more than his own, accords with his expectations, and with the course of things which in all other affairs of life he is accustomed to acquiesce in. It is only necessary that this superior influence should be assigned on grounds which he can comprehend, and of which he is able to perceive the justice.
Many of you will know that John Stuart Mill advocates a scheme whereby college graduates, and the more educated more generally, would get more votes. Like some universities, he even accepts work experience in leiu of formal education: If every... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at PEA Soup
I'll try to get you up for a talk (I'm in Hamburg April-mid July), although I'm not sure where they are in making up the program of speakers.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2014 on Konstanz Reasoning Conference at PEA Soup
And I leave Germany on the 24th, sigh.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2014 on Konstanz Reasoning Conference at PEA Soup
Never pass up a chance to pee.
What's so puzzling is that it sounds like the chair and colleague were saying not only that the book wouldn't help the junior faculty member's tenure case but that it would hinder it. This suggests that they were not merely thinking that it wouldn't count as new research but that it would in some way detract from the other publications. Perhaps they meant only that spending time on the book would be better spent writing more papers, but it almost sounds like they thought that incorporating the papers into the book would be an ethical violation, and that is indeed strange.
Interesting stuff. Can I ask for clarification on a couple of points? First, I'd be interested to hear more about the "theoretical cost" that you think must be paid if we reject the claim that moral blame is of a piece with the other sorts of evaluation that you describe. Second, could you say more about why, if we do accept this claim, it's inevitable that "there will be some kinds of inability to do otherwise which do nothing at all to excuse behavior that violates moral standards"? Putting on my (unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unaccountably itchy) Kantian hat, for instance, I might respond to your case 3a by simply denying that the factors you cite could make you incapable of picking me up. So I would be denying that there are sources of inability that fail to excuse in that case, on the grounds that there are no sources of inability at all.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2013 on Moral Responsibility and PAP at PEA Soup
My department's last APA interviews were in '98; that's the search in which I was hired. After that we switched to phone interviews. We're doing three searches this year. In a rare stroke of good timing, I chose this time to go on sabbatical, so I'm not directly involved. However, our deadlines are not until 3 January. On at least one previous occasion, we did phone interviews and maybe even campus visits prior to the APA; in that year, we were trying to make an offer before an anticipated hiring freeze. So in short, yes, now that we're no longer interviewing at the APA we frequently depart from the traditional timetable.
How does "bad talk" work on this view? It seems like the obvious answer is that to call something bad is to say it promotes something that is relevantly disvalued or "aversed." (I'm not sure that that's a word, but I'm using it so that 'aversed' is to 'aversion' as 'desired' is to 'desire'.) In that case, if something is itself relevantly aversed, then isn't it Bad for its own sake in virtue of promoting itself?
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2013 on For S***'s Sake! at PEA Soup